Friday, January 19, 2007

Daf Yomi - Taanis 11 - Highlights


Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rabbi Chiya that one who is traveling should not eat more than he would eat in a famine year. The Gemora offers two reasons for this. In Bavel they explained that eating in abundance while traveling can lead to a sickness of the intestines. In Eretz Yisroel they said that one should eat sparingly in order to ensure that he will have enough for the entire duration of his trip. The Gemora presents two practical differences between the reasons. If one is traveling on a ship, he doesn’t need to be concerned on account of his intestines. Alternatively, if one is traveling where food is readily available, he doesn’t need to be worried about a food shortage.

The Gemora relates that Rav Pappa would eat a loaf of bread every parsha. It emerges that he held that the reason to minimize the amount that one eats on a journey is because it can be harmful to the intestines. Rav Pappa, who was a heavy man, did not need to be concerned for this. (10b – 11a)


Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav that one, who starves himself during a famine year when other Jews are in distress, will be saved from an unusual death.

Rish Lakish rules that one who has children should not engage in marital relations during a famine year.

The Gemora cites a braisa regarding one who distances himself from the community while they are suffering; two Heavenly angels will place their hands on him and declare that he should not see the comfort of the community when they are released from their affliction.

A similar braisa is cited which states that at the time when the community is suffering, one (who is not afflicted) should not say that he will go to his house, eat and drink and not be concerned about anyone else. It is said regarding one who neglects the anguish of the community that Hashem will not forgive him for this sin.

The braisa proves from Moshe that one should suffer together with the community. It is written that Moshe’s hands were heavy and he sat on a stone. The Gemora wonders why Moshe didn’t use a pillow or a mattress in order to sit comfortably. The answer given is that Moshe said if Klal Yisroel were suffering (due to the war with Amalek), he will suffer along with them.

The braisa continues that perhaps a person might ask that who will testify against him that he is not sharing in the suffering of the community. The answer given is that the stones and beams of his house will testify against him. Another opinion cited is that the Heavenly angels that accompany him will testify against him. Alternatively, Rabbi Chidka says that a person’s own soul will testify against him. Others say that his limbs will testify against him. (11a)


 The braisa quotes a Scriptural verse and explains that just like an evil person is punished in the world to come even on a minor sin that he committed, so too a righteous person will be punished in this world even on a minor sin that he committed.

The braisa continues and explains that just like a righteous person will be rewarded in the world to come even for a minor mitzva that he performed, so too an evil person will be rewarded in this world even for a minor mitzva that he performed.

The Chachamim said that when it is time for a person to depart this world, all of his deeds leave him and they ask him if he committed a sin on such and such a day in such and such a place. He responds that he did and he signs affirming the record of his deeds. The person then declares that he was judged correctly. (11a)


 Shmuel states that one who fasts is referred to as a sinner. Shmuel’s opinion is consistent with Rabbi Elozar Hakapar who explains that a nazir is referred to as a sinner since he pained himself by abstaining from wine. If one can be called a sinner for abstaining from wine, he will certainly be called a sinner for abstaining from all foods.

Rabbi Elozar disagrees and maintains that a nazir is referred to as a holy individual. If one who only abstained from wine is considered holy, certainly one who fasts is regarded as being holy.

The Gemora asks a contradiction regarding the opinion of Rabbi Elozar for he states elsewhere that a person’s intestines are considered holy and he must provide them with appropriate sustenance. The Gemora answers that fasting is considered praiseworthy for one who is able to fast and tolerate the suffering. One who does not have this ability is regarded as a sinner if he accepts to fast.

Rish Lakish states that one who voluntarily accepts to fast is regarded as a pious man.

Rav Sheishes says that one who is studying in Yeshiva should not fast. If he does accept to fast, a dog should eat his food.

Rabbi Yirmiya bar Abba said in the name of Rish Lakish that a Torah scholar is forbidden to fast since it will weaken him and detract from his learning. (11b)


 Reb Zeira said in the name of Rav Huna that one who accepts to fast and eats and drinks on the night before the fast, he may recite the tefillah of the fast; he can say tefillas aneinu. If he continued sleeping through the next night without eating, he does not say aneinu on the next day.

Rav Yosef inquires as to the explanation of Rav Huna. Why does he not recite aneinu the next morning? Is it because he maintains that a fast for a few hours is not a binding fast or is a fast for a few hours considered a fast but one who fasts an abbreviated fast does not recite aneinu? Abaye answers that Rav Huna maintains that one can fast for a few hours and aneinu would be recited. Rav Huna’s case is ruled differently because there were hours at night that he did not accept as a fast from beforehand and therefore the fast is not deemed to be significant enough to recite aneinu. (11b)


Anonymous said...

The Gemara says an interesting phenomenon concerning a Nazir. On one hand he is considered a tzadik and yet he also does an aveira by becoming a Nazir. Tosofas already elaborates on this. Initially what came to mind was the concept of Aseh docheh lo saaseh, but obviously there's a difference, because by Nazir he in fact he has done a Mitzvah AND an Aveira as opposed to Aseh docheh lo saaseh there is no Aveira being done. Perhaps the reason for this difference lies in the fundamental understanding of Aseh docheh lo saaseh. Briefly, the point is that a positive commandment is greater than fullfiling a negative one because a positive commandment is anoutgrowth of love for Hashen as oppose to a negative commandent which is an outgrowth of ones fear of Hashem. Based on the above we can say that being that a Nazir HOLDS HIMSELF BACK from certain things, this therefore symbolizes the middah of Yirah thus not being similar to the benefit of a Aseh docheh lo saaseh.
Ben S.